Category Archives: Other Systems

Barrowmaze Session 4- Ghouls, Spiders, Mold, and Darkness- What a PARTY

My Rochester delved once again into Barrowmaze (their second session, first session here.

Note: I am using my homebrew rules for The Black Hack to run this.  For more information, click here.

The Party

  • Emma- Elf Ranger
  • Jamie- Elf Cleric (Deity is Silvanus, the Green Man)
  • Angie- Dwarf Druid
  • Nate- Half Demon Warlock
  • Katie- Half-elf Warrior
  • Kevin- Human Thief

Couldn’t Make It

  • DJ- Dwarf Fighter
  • Sammi- Half-elf Wizard

The Start

Kevin hired Samuel DaMule, local torch boy, and a few peeps restocked their supplies.  Angie and Jamie both caroused and didn’t do so well.  Both borrowed money from Babbins Hairytoes, a halfling crime lord in Helix.  Jamie made an ass out of himself and will suffer Disadvantage to all Charisma rolls in Helix for the next month and Angie gambled like a mofo and ended up further in debt to Hairytoes.


Hairytoes is gonna get his money…

After carousing was settled I asked the group if they wanted to explore the mounds or the dungeon.  Everyone voted for the dungeon, so away we went.

Here’s a break down/highlight of what happened (arranged in order of how they explored).

Room 1 (Entrance)

  • Nothing encountered.  Graffiti on door, “Make no sound, they will seek you out.”

Room 2


  • Door opened slightly.  Katie proceeds in and is attacked by three horribly blood red spiders.  Samuel DaMule, the local torch boy, screams and flees, going further into the dungeon.  Angie is nearly killed by two of the spiders before they are all vanquished.

Room 3

  • Empty except for evidence of something being here for a long time.

Room 11-Q1

  • Dead body in room. Graffiti on wall, “Can’t get out.  Gods help me.”  Party loots body.

Room 11

  • Group encounters zombies, led by the undead version of Samuel DaMule.  Emma kills Samuel, Kevin kills another.  Jamie banishes undead and remaining two go fleeing into the night.
  • Jamie walked up to dead body covered in yellow mold- it explodes in a huge puff of yellow smoke.  Jamie critically succeeded his Cons save (lucky bastard), so doesn’t die and doesn’t lose his gear.

Room 11-Q2

  • Kevin opens door and fails his save- stabbed by giant crab spider and feels his body seize up, but can still move.  Tries to get free and critically fails, impaling himself further and goes paralyzed.  The spider lifts him into the room.  Katie closes the door and the group moves on.
    • We got a good laugh at this because it was Katie’s first time RPGing and her inner murderhobo shined through! 🙂
    • Jamie becomes the “door-kicker-opener” after Kevin’s untimely demise.

Room 4

  • Room is empty except for debris.

Room 20

  • Room with several doors, decide to go down hall.  Encounter nothing.

Room 5

  • Jamie the Paladin opens the door.  Three dead bodies are being consumed by rats the size of a medium dog.  Jamie quietly closes the door and group continues on.

Room 18

  • Group enters long hallway (from room 20) and sees open pit.  Angie turns into a bird and flies across.  Katie tries to take her time and ledge climb across (Dex of 7).  The rest of the group tries to jump and all fail except Nate, who uses Emma’s back as a spring board.  Fall into pit and discover Kevin 2.0 (now a Paladin, his thief died in Room 11-Q2) in the pit.  Been in there for two days.  Previous group left him.
    • Got out of pit saw several hallways and doors, including double doors.  Chanting “double doors!  Double doors!” the group entered the double doors.


Room 42


  • Long hallway with stairways leading down to a large room (can’t really see).  Attack by a ghoul hanging out on the ceiling.  Attacks and paralyzes Kevin and Nate before they know what’s going on.  Jamie turned the ghoul and it was killed by Emma and Angie as it tried to flee.
  • Nate realizes that as a dwarven druid, Angie is actually a Fraggle.  Thus, the name Gorf the Druid Dwarf is born.

Room 43

  • Large obelisk with strange runes that appear simultaneously in dwarven, elven, half-orc, and common.  Runes speak of a dark ritual to Nagrul.
    • Group loots burial alcoves- no encounters- finds gold, a small elephant king statue, gold earrings, a fine suit of plate mail, a nice cloak, and a beautiful broach that seemingly repels dust.
    • Aside: I was really curious to see how this room would play out.  In Barrowmaze there is a pretty beefy encounter that can happen here (I’m not saying what it is as some of my group scopes my blog).  There is a 70% chance upon entering the room that the baddies are here and I had Katie roll the d100 so she could get experience rolling one and she rolled a fucking 94!  Poof- there goes that encounter…  for now.

After the group finished with room 43 we called it quits for the evening as it was getting late and certain players were looking like poor wilted flowers.

It was great fun!  I’m looking forward to Sunday’s session with my online group!

Time to go restock!



The Graveyard


Liam- Elf Wizard (1st level)

Stan Human Torch Boy (Hireling)

Jamie- Halfling Paladin (1st level)

Nate- Human Warlock (1st level)

Chad- Halfling Thief (2nd level)

Samuel DaMule, Torch Boy (Hireling)

Kevin- Human Thief (2nd level)


Gathox Vertical Slum Gonzo Awesome Campaign Setting Book is Now Available!

David Lewis Johnson‘s kick ass setting, Gathox Vertical Slum (for cool blog info on the setting go here), is now available for purchase on Drivethru PRG.  Dave teamed up with me (DIY RPG Productions) to do layout and get the book out.   Dave’s setting is awesome and cram packed with his art and personality!

Currently only the PDF is available for purchase.  I am waiting for my proof copy of the POD from Drivethru.  If it passes inspection, the POD should be on sale shortly!  If you purchase the PDF, you’ll receive an email from DIY RPG Productions via Drivethru with a discount to purchase the POD as if you nabbed the bundle!

What is Gathox

Welcome to Gathox Vertical Slum, a far out, gonzo science fantasy campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition and other classic tabletop role playing games.

Aliens, mutants, spellslingers, and hardened criminals struggle for dominance in a lawless city built upon the back of a wandering, world-hopping godling. Inside this tome you’ll find:

* A fully mapped and fleshed out Vertical Slum, stuffed to the gills with greedy factions, hook-laden NPCs, and seedy locations.

* A new gangland system for running domain-level games at level 1.

* 43 fully illustrated strange and inimical monsters to spring on unsuspecting players.

* New classes, skills, ability checks, hirelings, and gear for players to work their will across the mean streets of the Great Spire.

* A vertical dungeon introductory adventure to test the skills and resourcefulness of new and seasoned players alike.

* Over a hundred lavish interior illustrations by D.L. Johnson.

* Five pieces of interconnected chapter fiction contributed by Josh Wagner.

Sample Pages

Gathox Sample Page 1

Sample Chapter Fiction

Gathox Sample Page 2

Summary of Gathox

Gathox Sample Page 3

How the maps for each neighborhood looks like.  There are three neighborhoods in all

Gathox Sample Page 4

Each neighborhood has important NPCs (all with pictures) and important locations

Gathox Sample Page 5

Over 40 fully illustrated monsters!  

Death is the New Pink is Now Available on POD- Oh and a Tasty Character Sheet

II finally got my Death is the New Pink proof from Drivethru post Gen Con and it passed the test, so it is NOW up for sale for both PDF and POD!

Eric from Bloat Games did a great unboxing video of it!

And finally Evlyn M did a fantastic character sheet for your usage pleasure!


Other Goodies

I’ve begun writing a sequel to DitNP called Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass!, Angie is working on a t-shirt design for DitNP, and I’m jotting down stuff for a supplement for Hubris (more on that in the future.

Gnome and Human Race and Wizard Class for Barrowmaze The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), the Thief (and Halfling race), the Ranger class (and Half-elf and Elf races), the Cleric class (with  Half-demon race and God is in the TV deity), and the Druid Class (with Half-orc race).

Today we look at those cute lil gnomes, pesky humans, and the Wizard class.


Gnome 1

Illusionist: A gnome can cast Prestidigitation once per day.  This increases to twice per day at 3rd level.

Animal Kinship: A Gnome can cast Speak With Animals once per day.

Intelligent: Gnomes are highly intelligent creatures.  Increase the Gnome’s Intelligence to 13 if original roll was lower.

Darkvision: Gnomes can see in the dark up to Not-so-Nearby radius.


Human 1

Gifted: Roll to see if all attributes increase by 1 as if you have leveled up (pg XX).  You do not get to reroll any failed attempts (pg XX).

And now the Wizard class


Wizard 1

Starting HP: 1d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: 1-handed Swords, Dagger, Sling, and Staff
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising

Strong Mind: Roll with Advantage when testing INT to avoid damage or effects from spells or magical devices.

Read Magic: Wizards can decipher magical writings by studying them for a few minutes and successfully testing their Intelligence.


Familiar: The Wizard has a loyal familiar that assists them in many ways.  The creature often is a bat, rat, toad, cat, raven, etc. or even a devilish Imp or Homunculus-type being.  The creature has 1 HD and can deal 1d6 damage.  The Wizard can deliver touch spells through the Familiar and can communicate telepathically with the being.  Should the creature die, the Wizard suffers 3d6 damage and is stunned until they succeed a CON test.  They can summon another Familiar a week later (costs 1d6x100 gp and takes 1d10+10 hours).

Analyze: A Wizard must analyze their spellbook for an hour each morning to keep the spells familiar in their brain.  At the end of the hour the Wizard can cast any spell in their Spellbook that they are able to cast.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for INT or WIS.
Wizards can cast a number of Arcane Spells per day, see the Spellcasting section.

Wizards start with a large spellbook containing a total of 1d4+1 1st level spells and one 2nd level spell from the Arcane Spell lists.





Spell Slot Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 1
2 2
3 3 1
4 3 2
5 4 2 1
6 4 3 2
7 4 3 2 1
8 4 3 3 2 1
9 4 3 3 2 2 1
10 4 3 3 2 2 2 1
DCC Wizard 1

Best Wizard is still the DCC wizard- gotta love me some Kovacs art.

Half-Orc Race, Druid Class, and Multiclassing Rules for The Black Hack and Off to Gen Con I Go!!!!

I leave tomorrow for Gen Con!  I’ve never been, so I’m super excited!  Looking forward to getting to play some games, run some Hubris for Goodman Games, and the ENnies (this blog and Hubris are both up for awards).  Mostly, though, I’m just looking forward to meeting as many awesome gamers as possible!  Good times ahead!  Feel free to send me a G+ message and we can hopefully work something out!


Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), the Thief (and Halfling race), the Ranger class (and Half-elf and Elf races), and the Cleric class (with  Half-demon race and God is in the TV deity).


half orc

Always speak with a Cockney accent

Hard to Kill: Half orcs are hard to keep down.  The first time a half orc is reduced to zero HP, they have a 50% chance to stabilize with 1 HD of HP to continue fighting.  This can be used once per day.

Thuggish: Half-orcs are large and resemble their full orc kin.  A half-orc has Advantage on tests to intimidate (STR or CHR).

Burly: Half-orcs are muscular creatures.  Increase the half-orcs Strength to 13 if original roll was lower.

Resistance: A half-orc can become angered and a tougher foe.  Once per day the half-orc gains Resistance to all physical damage for a number of rounds equal to half their Constitution score (round down).  This is a free action on their turn.

And here’s the Druid!


Druid 2

Starting HP: 1d6+ 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d6
Weapons & Armor: Dagger, Bows, Scimitar, Spear, Sling, Hand Axe, Cloth, Leather, and Small Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising


Animal Shape: The Druid can transform into a small or medium creature (no larger than a brown bear, wolf, boar, or cougar, and no smaller than a dog, cat, eagle, hawk, etc.) While in this form the druid can track by scent (rolling under WIS with Advantage), move as the creature would (i.e., Swim, fly, etc.), gains their ability to breathe (i.e., fish or frog can breathe underwater), a bite attack (and possibly claw, horn, or bite attacks at a d6 as well- GM’s call).  The animal’s armor class is based on size: small (eagle-sized) 0 armor; medium (dog/wolf-sized) 2 armor; large (brown bear-sized) 2. This armor does not stack with the armor the Druid is wearing, but replaces it.  In animal form the Druid can see in a Far Away radius in the low light conditions.  The Druid cannot communicate with other people while in animal form, but still understands their languages.  This effect lasts for 1 hour.  A druid can change into an animal once per day at level 1.  This increases an additional time per day every odd level to a maximum of five times at 9th level.

Druid 3

Naturalist: A Druid has Advantage on all rolls involving surviving in nature, identifying plants, animals, direction, weather patterns, etc.


Pass Without a Trace: When in nature a Druid leaves no tracks and can walk through tough terrain (i.e., briar patches, etc.) and be unhindered and suffer no damage.


Druidic Spells: Druids call on the power of nature to give them the power to cast a number of Druid Spells per day see Spellcasting section.


Meditate: The Druid must meditate for an hour each morning, bring in the calming effect of nature into their mind.  At the end of the hour the Druid can cast any spell from the Druid Spell List they are able to cast.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for STR or WIS.



Druid Level Spell Slot Level
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 2 2 2
7 2 2 2 1
8 2 2 2 2 1
9 3 3 2 2 2 1
10 3 3 3 2 2 2 1

Druid 1

And finally- here are the rules for multiclassing for TBH.



Experience is divided between the two (or three) classes equally, and remainder experience is lost.


Multi-classed characters do not gain HD or roll attribute increase until a level is gained in both classes.  A multi-classed character chooses which attribute from their classes they desire to reroll when they level up (i.e., a fighter/thief can choose between Strength, Dexterity, or Wisdom to reroll.  They cannot choose both Strength AND Dexterity as a normal fighter would- they lose that by choosing to multi-class).


For example: A Fighter/Thief (2/1) just got enough experience to gain second level in thief.  The character is unable to roll HP or Ability increases until they gain 3rd level in Fighter. 


Multi-classed characters cap at 8th level instead of the normal 10.  This is to reflect their spreading themselves rather than remaining focused.


Multi-classed characters use the more restrictive armor proficiency when determining use of abilities (i.e., a fighter/thief would suffer major penalties in plate mail when attempting to sneak or hide).  They also use the least restrictive set of weapons.

The Barrowmaze Half-Demon Race and Cleric Class (with a sample deity- God is in the TV) for The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), the Thief (and Halfling race), and the Ranger class (and Half-elf and Elf races)

Today we look at the Half-demon race and Cleric class.


Half Demon

Half Demon


Infernal Resistance: Half Demons have Resistance against all fire damage.

Infernal Blessing: Once per day the Half Demon can cast Charm Person or Flaming Hands.  The decision is made at the time of casting.

Cunning: Half Demons know how to beguile others.  Increase the Half Demon’s Charisma to 13 if original roll was lower.

Darkvision: Half Demons can see in low-light conditions up to Nearby radius.



Cleric 1
Starting HP:
1d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: All Blunt Weapons, Crossbow, Weapon of Deity (if Applicable) Cloth, Leather, Chainmail, All Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising
Blessed: Roll with Advantage when testing CON to avoid damage from poison or being paralyzed.
Banish Undead: A Cleric can spend an action to banish all Nearby undead by testing their WIS and adding the creature’s HD to the roll.


Deity: Choose which the Cleric serves.  Gain Deity power (see pg XX).  Deity powers can be used once per day.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for STR or WIS.
Clerics can cast a number of Divine Spells per day, see the Spellcasting section.
Prayer: A Cleric prays to their deity each morning to be blessed with divine might.  At the end of the hour the Cleric can cast any spell they choose.

Cleric 2


Cleric Level Spell Slot Level
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 2 2 2
7 2 2 2 1
8 2 2 2 2 1
9 3 3 2 2 2 1
10 3 3 3 2 2 2 1


God is in the TV

Rock is Dead

Description: Technology pulled from Earth also brought television.  Beings were immediately drawn to the “magic box” and many began worshiping it as some form of divine being.  Eventually the collective desires and consciousness of so many beings gave sentience to a sleek 120” television.  Flitting images (much like a music video) flood the minds of followers that pray before the screen.  Instant gratification, escapism, and consumption are common themes of the day.

Deity Represents: Distraction, Escapism, and Consumerism

Holy weapon: 20th-21st century handgun and shotgun.

Followers Dress Like: 20th-21st century Earth dwellers (or as close as they can get)

Holy Symbol: Small television jewelry (usually gem studded) on a silver chain.
Cleric Power: Static: The Cleric releases a charge of static electricity in a 15’ cone.  All targets in the area must succeed a ST or suffer 1d6+Cleric level damage and able to only take a partial action for the next 1d4 rounds.

The Barrowmaze Elf and Half-Elf Races and Ranger Class for The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), and the Thief (and Halfling race).

Today is all about the Elf and Half-Elf races and Ranger class


Elf Art

Known Spell: Magic courses through the blood of elves.  Each elf starts play with a single 1st level spell that they can cast once per day.

Agile: Elves are agile creatures.  Increase the elf’s Dexterity to 13 if original roll was lower.  Elves also learn how to use bows at an early age.  They are proficient in bows in addition to their other weapon proficiencies.

Strong Mind: Elves are immune sleeping spells and have Advantage on tests to resist illusions.

Keen Eyes: Elves have sharp eyes and can spot hidden passageways easier than others.  They have Advantage on Wisdom tests to find hidden doors.

Low-Light Vision: An elf can see in low-light conditions up to Not-so-Nearby distance.

Here’s the Half-Elf


Known Spell: Magic courses through the blood of half-elves.  Each half-elf starts play with one 1st spell that they can cast once per day.

Strong Mind: Half-elves have Advantage on tests to resist sleeping spells and illusions.

Low-Light Vision: A half-elf can see in low-light conditions up to Nearby distance.

Almost Human: Choose two Attributes.  Roll to see if they increase by 1 as if you have leveled up (pg XX).

And now the Ranger


Ranger 2

Starting HP: 1d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising


Combatant: Rangers gain an additional attack at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level.
Survivalist: Rolls with Advantage when performing tasks in nature such as finding food, tracking, identifying plants and animals, hiding or moving silently, etc.  You find food in half the time it would take a normal person.


Archer: The Warrior is handy with a bow.  They are able to fire two arrows at one target (damage is rolled with Advantage) or fire the arrows at different targets (this counts as a single attack roll per round, but attacks are made with Disadvantage).


Ranger Style (Choose One)

Animal Companion: Rangers start play with a trusted animal companion.  This creature has 1 HD.


If the animal companion dies the ranger can attempt to bond with a new one after one week of mourning.  They must go in the wilds and attempt to coax the animal to them.  A single Charisma test must be passed for this to succeed.


At 5th level the Ranger can tame a 3HD creature.  At 10th level this is increased to 4 HD.


Hatred: Rangers know how to fight against giants, trolls, ogres, orcs, goblins, and kobolds. When fighting in combat against these fiends, Rangers adds their level to their damage with a successful attack.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for DEX or WIS.

Ranger 1